Steve Jobe has just spent the morning securing a van that can transport his giant hurdy gurdy. “it’s not hard to get it through doorways; it was designed to fit sideways, but the length can be a problem…Looks like a couple rows of seats will have to come out.” The ten-foot “Bosch Hurdy Gurdy”, modeled after the massive instrument visible in a section of the Hieronymus Bosch masterpiece, “The Garden of Earthly Delights”, is on its way to upstate New York. It will be featured in a performance by the Jobe/Redfearn Ensemble slated for Kingston, NY’s Festival of the Arts coming up Saturday of Labor Day Weekend.
It takes two to three people to operate the Bosch Hurdy Gurdy. “A hurdy gurdy is more or less a mechanical violin,’ says Jobe. “where the wheel replaces the bow, vibrating strings, but it’s also a one man band, with melody, rhythm and drones, all in one instrument. The Bosch is a real contra-bass version of the traditional instrument.” He believes it is the largest such instrument ever built. Steve commissioned a huge, carved boar’s head in wood to grace the large peghead of the instrument, emblematic of its ferocious soul and sound.
The Ensemble brings together the aesthetics of two contrasting but complementary, award-winning composers: Rhode Islanders Steven Jobe and Alec Redfearn. Jobe spends most of his time writing operas, his current work being "The Legend of the Fairy Melusine." Redfearn, leader of the heralded band The Eyesores, and key participant in several more, is recognized on both sides of the Atlantic for his prolific originality, “falling somewhere between psych-folk revival and free jazz, constructed from a diverse and unfashionable set of instruments including accordion,” commented a writer for Splendid magazine. Both composers are recipients of RI State Council on the Arts Artists Fellowships and numerous other project grants.
Besides the giant hurdy gurdy, the effect of which Jobe describes as “a primal hypnotic wave, Jobe/Redfearn features intriguing and colorful instrumentation -- accordion, violin, viola, cello and percussion. In addition, two guest vocalists, Ellen Santinello, with a background that includes opera, early and art music, and Gillian Chadwick, whose vocals range from rock to folk styles, will round out the absorbing, eclectic, impossible-to- categorize sound. Selections range from a dreamy art-song melody by Jobe entitled "Chartres," to a characteristically accordion-infused extravaganza by Redfearn, "Amoebiasis". Completing the ensemble are noted New England instrumentalists Rob Bethel, cello; Matt McClaren, percussion; Laura Gulley, violin, and Bosch crew, Chris Sadlers and Rachel Rosenkrantz. Their experiences include classical and experimental music, instrument making and rock bands.
Jobe/Redfearn Ensemble performs Saturday August 30 at 4 pm at the Old Dutch Church for one show only at the Kingston Festival of the Arts in Kingston, NY. Tickets are $20 and are available on line at http://kingstonfestival.org/buy-tickets or at the door. The Festival runs August 21 to 31.
Artist contact: Steven L. Jobe, 401-345-4320 (phone interviews welcome)
Kingston Festival Contact: 845-331-3261
Article by Laura Travis, WRIU-FM, Kingston, RI
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By Garrett Montgomery
If you’re looking to celebrate Mardi Gras in upstate New York, Los Lobos will be rocking the Bearsville Theater this Fat Tuesday. The legendary ensemble from East Los Angeles will be visiting Woodstock, NY, on March 4th for a special show with Brooklyn based Roger Street Friedman.
Like the tradition of letting loose on the eve of Lent, the band has persisted and evolved over time. Louie Perez, Cesar Rosas, Conrad Lozano, and David Hidalgo have been serving up what their official website calls a “powerhouse mix of rock, Tex-Mex, country, folk, R&B, blues and traditional Spanish and Mexican music” since conceiving Los Lobos in 1973. Saxophonist Steve Berlin joined the lineup in the early ’80’s and their most recognizable hit—a cover of Richie Valen’s “La Bamba”—was released in 1987. Los Lobos completed their Grammy hat trick in the ’90’s and released 7 albums in the aughts. Last year, the band celebrated its 40th birthday.
This Tuesday, Los Lobos will bring their eclectic catalogue to the Hudson Valley for a performance that is sure to be memorable . Don’t be surprised if the group adds a touch of jazz to its “powerhouse mix” for these Mardi Gras festivities.
Doors at 7, show at 8.
Well, well, well! Look who’s back! And it’s good to be back! There’s been so much we’ve missed, don’t rightly know where to start! That’s a lie!
Might as well start the first column of the new year by telling y’all where I’ve been. Moving, mostly. I’ve moved Reservoir Music from the log cabin on Route 28 that we’ve occupied for the past two years, into an office in the historic Stockade District of Kingston! The retail store is closed, but we remain in business working by appointment and online. Over the next few months, I will be working feverishly to get all of my inventory listed on our website, www.reservoirmusiccenter.com. You know the site because it’s where you go to read this column online, or, should I say, one of the sites, the others being www.brooklyncowboys.com, www.hvmusic.com, and, of course, www.thetownsman.com.
I made this move for several reasons, those reasons being time, family, health, and financial. It’s a hand that can’t be beat! Without going into the details, which are personal, I’ll just say that I’m very happy since the store closed. I can still be reached at 845-657-6127 and firstname.lastname@example.org. The focus of the business is now buying and selling vintage guitars, doing repairs on all instruments, and rentals of band instruments, PA systems, and stages, so if anybody’s got any vintage gear to sell, get in touch, please. We will also still sell items on consignment, and we look forward to serving the needs of the Hudson valley musical community for another nine years, and beyond!
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Steve & Steve
It’s hard to believe that we still have almost 7 weeks before the actual start of Winter! I suspected this would be an early, cold Winter when I saw my first red and gold leaves in the middle of July! Prior to the last really bad Winter, about 3 years ago, I saw my first red leaf on July 26. This year it was about two weeks earlier than that! Could be a clue, so get ready for a long, cold, snowy Winter, and for everyone who doesn’t ski, snowboard, or indulge in other Winter sports and activities, sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Of course, the good news is it will probably be over by April! Ha ha!
Since there’s nothing earth shattering that happened in the music world since Lou Reed died, and since my deadline is looming, and since I do have a life with it’s attendant demands, this week’s column is gonna get right down to live music picks. Here we go.
There’s your week in music. Enjoy!
Fred Perry is the owner of Reservoir Music Center on Route 28 in Kingston, and founding member of Alt-Country supergroup, The Brooklyn Cowboys, is from a 3rd generation musical family and lives in the Hudson Valley, where he does what he can to promote live music.